Meet the Girls: World No 1 Lydia Ko
Lydia Ko fact file
Name: Lydia Ko
Date of birth: 24/04/1997
Place of birth: Seoul, South Korea
Nationality: New Zealand
Turned pro: 2013
About Lydia Ko
Nineteen-year-old Lydia Ko has smashed all sorts of records in her budding career and is the runaway leader at the top of the world rankings.
The Kiwi star started playing golf at the age of five and her rise to the top of the women’s game has been meteoric.
She had an outstanding amateur career, winning four professional tournaments. She also clinched the 2011 Australian Women’s Amateur Strokeplay, New Zealand Women’s Amateur Strokeplay and New Zealand Women’s Amateur Match Play.
In 2012 she won the US Women’s Amateur while also claiming low amateur honours at six LPGA Tour championships in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA history in August 2012 at the 72-hole Canadian Women’s Open at the age of 15 years, four months and two days. That victory made her only the fifth amateur to have won an LPGA Tour event, and the first in more than 43 years.
She became the youngest winner in Ladies European Tour (LET) history on February 2013 when she clinched the 54-hole ISPS Handa Women’s New Zealand Open.
Ko made the cut 12 times in the 12 events she entered in 2013 and turned professional in October. She won her first event as a pro at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour (KLPGA).
She was granted membership for the 2014 LPGA season by commissioner Mike Whan, who waived the Tour’s requirement of members being at least 18 years old.
Ko got off to a flying start in her rookie season, making 100 per cent of the cuts in the 26 events she played. Her stunning start meant that she became the youngest player to surpass $1 million and $2 million in career earnings.
The 2015 season was her biggest year to date. At the age of 17 years, nine months and eight days, Ko became youngest player of either sex to be ranked No 1 in professional golf.
She followed that up by capturing her first Major crown at the Evian Championship in September. The victory made her the youngest Major champion in the history of the LPGA Tour and the youngest Major champion in golf since Young Tom Morris’ 1868 Open Championship win.
In April this year she became the youngest double Major winner since Young Tom Morris in 1869 when she claimed the ANA Inspiration.
Overall, Ko has won 13 times on the LPGA Tour and five times on the LET.